What Does STEAM Look Like at General Mitchell?

Makerspace

General Mitchell’s Makerspace strives to provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent all while using a child’s knowledge of science, engineering, coding, and tinkering.

We are in the process of creating a makerspace at General Mitchell that includes design elements you might find in science labs, woodshops, computer labs or art rooms. The vision is to offer a wide range of activities, tools, and materials to “MAKE”. The range of activities we hope to provide students will be what sets General Mitchell’s  Makerspace apart.  Community involvement is key.  If you have a hobby or skill you would like to share with the students, please contact the administration here at General Mitchell.  

Lego Robotics Team

First Lego League teams build Lego-based robots and develop research projects based on a real world challenge that changes each year.  Students strategize, design, build, program, and test their Lego robot using Lego Mindstorms technology.  Students work to create innovative solutions to challenges facing today’s scientists while developing career and life skills that include critical thinking, time management, and teamwork.   

Project Lead The Way Curriculum (PLTW through MSOE)

Your K-5 students already have the qualities of great designers and innovators. What PLTW Launch does is tap into their exploratory nature, engage them in learning that feels like play, and encourage them to keep discovering – now and for years to come.

PLTW Launch’s 24 interdisciplinary modules bring learning to life. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them. And as students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge.

ACE Program (Arts in Community Education MSO)

This nationally acclaimed program through the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra enhances students’ education through the integration of music and art into the school curriculum, accomplished through six ACE program components.

The six components of ACE are:

1. ACE Curriculum – Teachers receive an ACE Resource Handbook, lesson plans, integration activity ideas, project planning frameworks, musician/artist visit preparation and follow-up, an ACE repertoire CD, and more. Each grade level has a different ACE theme, which is reinforced throughout the year through all ACE components.

2. Teacher In-Services – Six teacher in-services annually facilitate orientation of new teachers, interacting with ACE music, teaching ideas, activities, planning, etc.

3. Musician/Artist Visits – Each year, each ACE classroom receives three visits from ACE Ensembles, which are comprised of MSO musicians and/or artists from local arts organizations such as the Milwaukee Ballet, Skylight Music Theatre, and many more! These visits energize ACE themes and classroom learning.

4. Family Concert & Parent Newsletter – ACE involves parents as well as teachers and students. Each school hosts an ACE ensemble for a school-wide evening Family Concert and parents receive regular newsletters to update them on ACE happenings.

5. ACE Concert – The MSO performs a unique concert for each grade level, incorporating the themes and bringing all ACE classrooms of the same grade to Uihlein Hall.

6. Culminating Experience Project – ACE classrooms work throughout the year on a culminating group project which integrates the themes and grade learning targets and is used to assess progress.

ACE Grade level themes:

  • Kindergarten – ACE Family

  • 1st Grade – ACE Storytellers

  • 2nd Grade – ACE Detectives

  • 3rd Grade – ACE Architects

  • 4th Grade – ACE Explorers

  • 5th Grade – ACE Inventors

Makers Guild Challenges

General Mitchell students are given monthly Makers Guild Challenges.  These challenges give students an opportunity to create something from nothing!  Students are given the guidelines, timeline, materials, and the prize given.  Past challenges have been to build an innovative 10x10 Lego brick house and to write a poem about any experience.

Community Engagement Activities:

STEAM Fair
A slight spin on the age-old science fair of our youth!  Students chose topics not only in the area of science, but social studies and social emotional learning.  The challenge was to explain the five areas of STEAM integrated into their project.  Students needed to find and demonstrate a science, technology, engineering, art, and math component within their project.

Technology Night
WAWM has a 1:1 technology initiative.  What that means is that every student in the district can choose to receive an iPad to use for academics.  General Mitchell’s staff work quite hard to use the technology available to best suit their students’ needs.  Technology Night is a night where we can showcase our progress in various “techie” ways.  Some examples include creating QR Codes and adding them to their visual aides, utilizing Google Forms to survey visitors, and creating presentations using multiple presentation programs like Prezi, Popplet, and Powerpoint.  Families and community members were encouraged to take selfies with Dr. Seuss props to celebrate his birthday and send them through their smartphone to us through a QR code.

Arts Night
The arts committee has planned an art show that includes art sales, music, and raffles!  This night will help to fund the ACE program and supplies associated.  

Math Night
Math Night was a rousing success!  Families and community members entered General Mitchell and were immediately put to work accomplishing several math tasks throughout the building.  Many of the older students assisted with activities throughout the night.  Students were also able to show their parents the programs we use here in the WAWM school district.